Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Homemade Crayons

You might be wondering why a person would bother making their own crayons, at a time of year when crayons cost almost nothing. Well, the answer is fairly simple. I have a three year old, who likes to color everything purple, and store clerks tend to get a little testy when you try to purchase just one color out crayon boxes. So, I thought maybe I could make a set of chunky purple crayons, instead.

I saw a few recipes for crayons using beeswax, and soap. I didn't have any beeswax, but I did have the kind of wax you use for canning (just a basic household, or paraffin wax). And, as luck would have it, I also had some bars of Jergens soap on hand. Since both items were fairly inexpensive, I figured it wouldn't hurt to experiment with them.

I cut up one bar of Jergens, and one bar of wax, into a tinfoil lined spring form pan, that I like to use for solar cooking. I added ten or so drops of red food coloring, and about the same number of blue, covered the lot, and popped it into the solar oven.

After, a day of stirring, and repositioning the oven, to follow the sun, I still wasn't totally satisfied with the result. The soap hadn't mixed very well with the wax, and the pan turned out to be a little large, so my "crayon" was a somewhat thinner than I wanted.

I transferred the partially hardened mess to a mini loaf pan, and placed it into the oven on low heat, until it was remelted (about 1/2 hour). The soap still did not mix very well, but the crayon matter was thicker.

I let it cool a little, and then cut it into strips, which I removed from the pan while still warm, so I could roll them a bit in my hands, to soften the edges.

They look somewhat odd, but they color surprisingly well. When these are all used up, I think I'll try a batch without the soap to see what the difference is. In the meantime, I ought to have a pretty happy three year old, and a lot of purple pictures.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

1 comment:

Nadia said...

lol your post is hilarious! thanks for showing us how you made the purple crayons... i love experimenting